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The Basement: Under The Stairs

So things are moving along in the basement, slowly. Lots of cleanup has been going on... old electrical, alarm wires, plumbing - all cleaned up, made more efficient, moved out of the way. We also moved the hot water tank into the storage are and and took the opportunity to switch it from electric to more efficient gas. Surprisingly, since we were renting the tank from Direct Energy, making the switch (moving the tank, getting the new unit, drilling for the external vent) was free!

What wasn't free... turning the furnace 45 degrees. See that blue tape line? A new wall to the storage room will sit just outside that line. There wouldn't be enough room to access the furnace if needed so it had to be turned. The storage/laundry room is starting to take shape. The laundry machines are in their new spot and that garbage can & plywood contraption represents the countertop and cabinetry on the opposite side. The laundry room feels bigger than I thought! We'll see if it still feels that way once the walls are up.

This is one area on my mind though. If you remember, we had a bank of cabinetry underneath the stairs. Great for storage, but we decided to take them out so we could access the area for insulation and match the look with the rest of the cabinetry going in the basement. A few ideas I'm playing with:

Full-height cabinets. This is similar to what we had before, except the doors would match the other cabinets in the craft zone (shown on the left of the mockup) and we would eliminate the separate access to the triangular area. Having a setup like this would be great for storage. One tall area could be used to store the vacuum and brooms. The other side would be good for storing our big Tupperware containers of off-season clothing.

Another idea: Create more of a built-in look with deep pot drawers below and drywall above. I find pot drawers so useful. I could totally see using these drawers for those random seasonal decor items I have stored in multiple places around the house. One downside to this option is we lose the extra storage space in the triangle area.

We could also do open shelving and have some room for display. This might be a nice way to break up all the cabinetry. We could possibly keep costs down by using off-the-shelf bookcases that we would make look built-in. However, since most bookcases aren't that deep, we'd lose all that storage space behind the bookcases.

And this is a really fun option... putting a playhouse for Chloe under the stairs. I'd love to create something like this one by Mossy. Growing up, we had a playhouse under the stairs (okay, it was more like a curtain and a table) and I remember spending hours there, reading books, playing grocery with my sister, hiding my treasures. How fun would this be?

Any other options you can think of? How have you used the space under your stairs?

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